One of the things I really loved about this wedding season was that I photographed a lot of my friend's weddings. Granted, I feel like I become pretty close with my clients to the point where I gladly call them my friends, but to me, there's something just so special about photographing two people that I've known for years. To know them and really know their journey and how long they've waited for their wedding day - it brings me to tears because it makes me SO happy to witness that kind of love and be a part of their wedding day.
Sarah and Dustin's wedding is a very good example of one of those extra personal events for me. I've known Sarah and Dustin for YEARS. I went to high school with both of them, and I've known Dustin's family for quite some time. Sarah and I have witnessed each other go through some tough times in our lives, so when she asked me to be a part of the happiest day of her life, I was BEYOND excited and just honored. I knew damn well that I'd be fighting back tears that day. Hell, I almost started crying before I even got to the hotel! Fortunately, the vibe was super relaxed at The Avalon Inn where the girls were getting ready. The guys also had a super chill day, as Dustin, his son and his father just hung out at Dustin's house before the ceremony. Mason, Dustin's son, played with his trucks and toy guns while my second shooter, Kirsten, took pictures and learned about dump trucks :P
I was beyond thrilled when Sarah and Dustin decided that they would do a first look. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, a first look is when the bride and groom have a few moments before the ceremony to see each other. It goes beyond the traditional norm, but they are seriously my favorite! You never know how a couple will react, and the second Dustin turned around, Sarah broke down in tears. It was so raw and absolutely beautiful. With how hectic the entire day was, I'm seriously SO glad they chose to have a first look and get that extra intimate time in, away from the crowd and the craziness.
Hartford Hill Winery is such a beautiful venue for an intimate wedding! The barn was decorated to elegant Fall perfection as the guests arrived, sipped some wine and eagerly awaited the ceremony. I absolutely loved the simplicity and personalization of the ceremony. It really was short and sweet, and I LOVED how Sarah and Dustin specifically chose to have Mason be a big part of their day. He was the ring bearer, but stood front and center with his dad and Sarah during the entire ceremony.
After the ceremony, we had a little bit of time to get a few more shots of Sarah and Dustin as the sun set. Nothing beats those warm, glowy Fall colors! After the sun hid behind the tree line, it was time to party and relax!
The night wrapped up with a great dinner, wine and dancing. The atmosphere was absolutely perfect, and so was the weather! Many people enjoyed the warmth under the stars and some twinkly lights. And, we can't forget a grand sparkler exit!
All of the lovely vendors that made this wedding possible:
Venue: Hartford Hill Winery
Caterers: Aulizio's Catering
DJ: DJ Jay-D
Videographer: Silfies Media
Hair & Makeup: Elixir Beauty & Barbershop
Florals: The Flower Shoppe
Jewelry: Thom Duma Fine Jewelers